Friday, February 13, 2009

Economic Stimulation: Terror Yes, Weatherization No

Via Atrios I was directed to this story today:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Critics of the $790 billion economic stimulus program are not really balking over caulking: They just don't think pouring substantially more money into home weatherization will give a quick kick to the reeling economy.

There's billions of additional dollars for weatherizing modest-income homes in the sweeping stimulus legislation that Congress hopes to get to President Barack Obama's desk, perhaps as early as this weekend.

Obama wants a sevenfold jump in the number of homes weatherized each year -- from about 140,000 to 1 million households.

But critics argue that much of the new money -- something that will end up in the range of $2.9 billion to $6.2 billion in the stimulus measure -- will be chewed up by the sheer cost of implementing the program and training people to carry it out.

Training? Implementation? Pffft. Doesn’t anyone remember this?

Ridge to join Home Depot board


Ridge is quite familiar with home-improvement projects. He was instrumental in a short-lived run on duct tape in early 2003, when he encouraged Americans to turn to the sticky substance and plastic sheeting as protection against terrorists using chemical and/or biological agents.

The move, which drew criticism from many corners, motivated many across the country to stock up -- to the extent that some retailers reported widespread shortages.

Both Home Depot and rival Lowe's Cos. (LOW:17.98, -0.55, -3.0%) were among the big beneficiaries of the buying binge. Home Depot, in fact, went so far as to set up special Homeland Security displays nears it entrances to tout sales of duct tape, plastic sheeting, batteries and bottled water, among other safe-room supplies.

Amazing. Seems fear stimulates the economy really well, and no one needs any “special training” to “implement” a home “safe room” program.

Honestly, our media is so stupid. No, scratch that: they think we are. I'm sick of hearing from "critics" who nine times out of 10 are the same people who've been wrong about everything else for the past eight years.